Throughout history, countries have entrusted their safety to a group of warriors willing to fight their enemies. These warriors were tasked with engaging the enemy in far away lands and defeating them by any means necessary. Today, we have whole armies with hundreds of different tools at their disposal to accomplish this same mission. The task is the same, but the tactics and tools of war have changed over time.
Long ago, armies were armed with shields, swords, and bows in order to meet their enemy in battle. Today, our armies engage the enemy with hundreds of different tools ranging from rifles to rockets. We can even engage the enemy without a human presence with drones that can deliver precise and devastating attacks using complex air-to-ground missiles and bombs. Even with this type of advancement in technology, we still rely on sending in highly trained professionals to deliver a killing blow to our enemies, wherever they may be.
When it comes to fighting, a sound minded warrior understands the need for a weapon that is versatile and reliable. Warriors like having a weapon that can do the job of several different weapons with a consistency in operation. For this reason I feel that the bullpup rifle, mostly the Steyr AUG, is the weapon system most worthy of our warriors.
As a bullpup, the action is close to the shoulder, and therefore the majority of the weight is as well. With the barrel length at 20″, the rifle still is the length of the M4, but with the reach and ballistic capability of the full length M16. I never understood the obsession with SBR rifles. The claim is that it shortens the rifle and makes it more compact, but you naturally are losing ballistic performance and increasing the noise. In many AR15 rifles, you have to be careful to maintain your weapons with a strict schedule to prevent parts breakages from increased gas pressure stressing out the components. Though, piston systems seem to handle the SBR setup much better since they use just enough pressure to get the momentum needed for cycling before venting the excess. With the Steyr AUG platform, you have no issues you would have with an SBR. The smallest barrel length for the AUG is 14″ and that is still satisfactory for CQB ranges with the 5.56 NATO.
SUPERIOR MAGAZINE DESIGN
The AUG has unique magazines that have proven to be incredibly simple and reliable compared to their AR15 counterpart. The magazines come in a 30 round and 42 round variety, depending on the desired application for the rifle. The waffle pattern of the magazines give the user a good grip on it when changing magazines in practically any environment, also adding to the durability of the magazine body. The transparent nature of the magazines aid the user in seeing the status of their magazines without the need to remove it from the weapon.
The rear of the magazine locks into the stock and the magazine features a magazine stop at the front to prevent over-insertion. Overall, the magazines of the AUG have proven to be more durable, reliable, and have greater longevity compared to their AR15 counterpart, STANAGs. But, if the user wishes to use STANAG magazines, Steyr produces a stock that can accept STANAG magazines as well. Though, you do lose the bolt release feature with this change.
KING OF MODULARITY
The Modularity of the Steyr AUG platform does not require tools or any complex procedures. The movie “Die Hard” had a scene of one of the terrorists putting a Steyr AUG together in the elevator, which seemed to inspire much curiosity and admiration overnight. The funny thing is that the rifle was designed to be able to serve in a multitude of different roles by simply changing out the barrel, receiver, or trigger pack. The rifle breaks down into bulk components that are easily exchanged. Personally, I think this is the coolest and most logistically sound concept for a serious military. I have the NATO stock, which allows for you to use STANAG mags, but you can get a standard stock for the more reliable AUG mags if you choose.
The Steyr AUG is probably best known for having the easiest and most functional Quick-Change barrel system. Many companies have tried to make barrel changing easier, such as the Beretta ARX-160, but still lack the versatility offered by the AUG platform. The AUG is capable of being turned into any type of rifle, from a 14″ carbine for CQB to a 24″ DMR with a semi only trigger pack. The rifle can serve as a designated automatic rifle with a full auto only trigger pack, or a standard 16″ rifle with a trigger pack capable of firing one round and burst. Each barrel features its’ own gas plug that is wrapped around the barrel and integrated into the barrel locking system. The barrel has over a dozen big and small points of contact in the receiver designed to prevent barrel movement.
I have yet to see a barrel system like this and not to mention one that can hold a zero even after being removed and reinserted.
The trigger pack being easy to change out is something many manufactures still cannot get the hang of. The modularity of the Steyr AUG trigger pack system is arguably just as important as the Quick-Change barrel system. Being able to quickly swap out entire trigger pack systems makes maintenance a breeze and modularity a much more simple process. You can quickly control the firing rate and capability just by swapping out an entire component.
The receiver of the rifle is what mounts the Picattiny rail or fixed sight of the rifle. Depending on the role the rifle is going to be serving, the receiver can be changed out to suit that role. You can get a receiver featuring fixed sights with varying magnification(1.5x, 3x, 6x), or just use a receiver with a long or short Picatinny rail system. How is that for options?
CONSISTENT MANUAL OF ARMS
For many warriors, having this versatility is useless if the manual of arms has to be different for each version. With this platform, the reloads, immediate action, and disassembly are all the same across the board. For me, reloading the AUG like an H&K is the most consistent and reliable method.
The point is to find a consistent, fast, and reliable method for reloading your rifle. This is about as important as having a reliable weapon, in my opinion. Speed is important, but it can be a burden when you get too centered around it and start sacrificing reliability and realistic safety to prevent mistakes. This is what I call the static range syndrome. Also, you will see in the video that all manipulation can be done with an arm bend within 90 degrees.
Everything in our world is flawed and far from the reach of perfection. This goes with firearms and tactics, and in this case it is the sacrifices of the platforms we choose. For the AUG, the sacrifices are not as numerous as others, but they are there. To name a few, the lack of a brass deflector makes shooting left handed with a NATO rifle a problem, not to mention just transitioning shoulders. The next sacrifice is that the gas system is not a variable and universal gas system. There are two functional settings, one for standard shooting and one for adverse and dirty firing. There is a rifle grenade setting, but it cuts off the ability for the rifle to cycle. This can be good because it is simple and really sets up the rifle to handle certain loads and conditions. Basically, the gas system can make the rifle more versatile and adaptable if you think about it the right way.
Other than these things, I can not think of actual problems when you consider upgrades, options, and aftermarket options available. It doesn’t take much to give you what you NEED, but the little bit goes a long way in any platform.
Typically our best fighters in the special forces tend to have alot of flexibility in what they choose. Are they basing their purchases off the best bidder, or are they really putting money into the best offer as far as quality? Well, it is a little bit of both. Interestingly, special forces have had a vast influence on weapons designs lately. Manufacturers like to get feedback on needs they have in order to make the best weapons possible. An example of this is the MP7 where they included a charging system similar to what you would find on the AR15 style of rifles. Even the advancements in caliber conversions for the AR15 has been attempted to answer ballistic performance requests of special forces and the regular military. This is a sign that they are in need of a platform that is easy to modify and convert, just like the Steyr AUG.
*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.
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